WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - It has been almost three years since the Mississippi Department of Transportation dedicated a highway to a police officer who died in the line of duty.
Now, a new memorial highway sign with the names Bond, Breland and Fite can be seen along Highway 26 in Stone County. It's to honor fallen officers Henry Lee Bond, Sr., Brandon Douglas Breland and Edward Odell Fite.
In Friday's dedication, family and friends gathered to remember and celebrate the lives of these fallen community heroes.
Tammie Monroe is the daughter of Bond, who was shot and killed 45 years ago while responding to a domestic call. Nearly five decades later, she says she couldn't be more thankful for all of the men and women whose job is to protect their community.
"It was a long time coming. I was very excited, overwhelmed. It was a joy. A very, very joyous occasion," Monroe said.
Breland served his last day in law enforcement with the Wiggins Police Department in November 27, 2005, at the young age of 23. His mother, Charlotte Breland, spoke about how he took pride in protecting his community. She is thankful that this dedication took place for her son and the other officers to be remembered.
"This dedication means a lot to me, because I wanted this highway named and we got it done. Now the community can remember him and all the other officers like they should be remembered," Breland said.
Fite died alongside Breland on that day in 2005 trying to answer a woman's call for help. His loved ones couldn't hold back their tears as his daughter, Sharon Pierce, spoke about what a great man he was and how much he is missed.
"Everybody needs to know they were a person outside of being an officer and they are loved, and they're missed," Pierce said.
Thanks to this special dedication by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, officers Bond, Breland and Fite will never be forgotten.